MLB

Lucas leads Marlins over Phillies with 11th-inning single

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The Canadian Press
7/1/2014 11:33:59 PM
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MIAMI -- Defensive replacement Ed Lucas provided a boost with his bat, transforming the Miami Marlins' extra-inning frustration into an 11th-inning celebration.

Lucas' single drove home the winning run from second base with one out in the 11th Tuesday night, and Miami beat the Philadelphia Phillies 5-4.

The Marlins had lost their past three extra-inning games, each lasting at least 13 innings. They had been shut out for 15 consecutive extra-inning innings before Lucas' hit, according to STATS.

"After that kind of a streak, it starts to build and grate on you as a team, so it was nice to be able to finish one off," Lucas said. "We've been so close in the past. We just haven't been able to get the big hit when we needed to. So it's good to be able to dump one in there and get us out of here for once."

Miami broke a four-game losing streak, while the Phillies lost their fifth game in a row and dropped a season-worst 9 1/2 games out of the NL East lead.

"It just seems like the games we're close to, we just don't win them," said the Phils' A.J. Burnett, who pitched six innings. "We've been in spots to win a lot of ballgames."

The Marlins extended another streak, winning their ninth consecutive game when Henderson Alvarez starts. That matched the longest such streak with a pitcher in franchise history.

"We need to get him to pitch every day," manager Mike Redmond said.

Alvarez allowed two runs in seven innings.

Pinch hitter Jeff Baker singled to start the 11th against Justin De Fratus (2-1), then advanced on a sacrifice. He scored without a play on an opposite-field hit by Lucas, who was sent into the game in the eighth because of his defence.

"We've had several opportunities to get that big hit," Redmond said. "It has been a little bit elusive late in the game, and tonight Eddie got one. That was big."

The Phillies overcame a 4-2 deficit in the eighth with back-to-back two-out homers by Marlon Byrd and Cody Asche off Kevin Gregg. Byrd clanked his 16th homer off the home-run sculpture, and two pitches later Asche pulled his fifth homer just inside the foul pole.

After the homers, Miami's bullpen retired the final 10 Phillies batters. Bryan Morris (6-0) pitched two innings.

"The offence has been inconsistent, sporadic, and it has made it tough on the starting pitcher that day trying to be perfect," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "The bullpen has stepped up and done its job putting zeroes late in the game, only to come short on the offensive side of things a lot of the times."

The Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton singled home a run to increase his RBI total to 61, which leads the NL. Casey McGehee singled and scored and has reached base in 25 consecutive games.

Miami also scored on a strikeout against Burnett, who struck out 10 but allowed four runs, three earned.

Alvarez was better, and even when he was on his backside, the Phillies had trouble reaching base. When Burnett broke his bat on a dribbler, Alvarez leaped to avoid the barrel and then crumpled in a heap on the mound. He watched from a supine position as third baseman McGehee threw Burnett out.

Alvarez again fell fielding Cameron Rupp's one-hopper in the seventh, and while sitting on the mound tossed to first for the out.

"I was happy he didn't throw it from his back," Redmond said. "I'm glad he at least sat up."

The Marlins' Steve Cishek also had a highlight-reel moment, reaching behind his back to snare another one-hopper by Rupp for an out in the ninth.

NOTES: After the game, the Marlins placed RHP A.J. Ramos on the 15-day disabled list because of shoulder inflammation. ... Phillies LHP Cliff Lee (elbow) threw 60 pitches in three innings in a simulated game Tuesday and said he felt good. He's expected to make one or two rehabilitation starts before rejoining the rotation, likely after the All-Star break. ... Phils C Carlos Ruiz (concussion) has yet to show much improvement. ... Three-time All-Star Grady Sizemore, who signed a minor league deal last week, might join the Phillies during their trip, Sandberg said. ... Marlins fan Jonathan Esponda, 8, whose gyrations in the stands became an Internet video sensation, threw out the first pitch and then danced with team mascot Billy the Marlin. ... LHP Cole Hamels (2-4, 2.84) is scheduled to start Wednesday for the Phillies against RHP Tom Koehler (5-6, 3.70).

Ed Lucas (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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